Hi everyone! Yep, its a new story. I know...what about the other two stories? I am working on them...I promise. I'm having a hard time with them though...I admit it. This story was written especially for Sparkie for her birthday and is complete. I will post every three days or so. I hope maybe this makes up for the lack of timely updates on the other two. This story is written partially from an idea by Sparkies dear friend. It's different...and dark. I hope you like it.

Sam Winchester (age 16)

Dean Winchester (age 21)

John Winchester (age unknown)

Disclaimer: Not mine...don't own them...no money made here.

Somewhere In the Middle

Chapter 1 - Wichita

February, 2000

Dean shivered as he followed behind his father and brother, the dry leaves crunching under his boots as he walked quickly away from the site of their most recent hunt. The witch's house stood stark and eerie behind the three hunters as they quickly made their way back to their waiting vehicles. It had been a hard won battle, but in the end, they had killed the witch, bringing to an end her horrible hold over Wichita. None of them had suffered any serious injuries, a bruise here and there, but that was about it. Still, Dean couldn't shake the feeling that they had gotten off pretty easy considering how strong this particular witch had been. His eyes wandered to his brother, the teen huddled within his too worn coat, body shaking worse than Dean's as the cold winter wind blew over them. Sam had done good on the hunt, impressing both John and Dean as he had been the one who had made the fatal hit on the witch. He had charged her without any outward fear and buried the blessed knife deep into her chest, piercing her heart and ending her reign of terror. She had died spewing gibberish that none of them could understand, but had sent a shiver down Dean's spine none-the-less. She had burned fast and hot, the only thing left of her at the end being a pile of ashes. The ashes had been soaked in holy water and rosemary then buried with a rosary just to be safe. 'Good riddance,' Dean thought as he glanced over his shoulder at the house before turning and hurrying to catch up to his family.

The three hunters reached their vehicles within a few minutes and they were soon on the road back to the edge of town and the motel they had called home for the past two months. Tonight would be their last night in Wichita and Dean couldn't wait to get out of town. He glanced over at Sam in the passenger seat and smiled. The kid looked tired as hell, but he had a grin on his face when he turned his head and met Dean's eyes. Dean felt a sudden, unexpected jolt of anger at the teen, but he pushed it aside, presuming it was his own exhaustion getting the better of him.

"You did good tonight, Sammy…really good," Dean forced out as he returned Sam's grin.

"Yeah? I did…really?" Sam asked coyly.

"Yeah…you did. You had your first kill, kiddo and it wasn't an easy one. I'm proud of you…so is Dad," Dean answered truthfully.

"Thanks, Dean," Sam said softly as he turned his head back around and stared out the windshield at the large truck ahead of them. He smiled at the thought that his dad was proud. It wasn't something that happened often, if at all, so he would bask in it for as long as he could.

Sam remained quiet for a few minutes, but the excitement of the evening and the fact that he'd done his family proud finally got the best of him and he began to chatter non-stop about the hunt, beginning with the research and on into the actual hunt. Dean listened with a slight grin as Sam rambled on, but after ten minutes he began to feel irritated. He tried to quell the irritation, but it continued to grow until an almost overwhelming feeling of anger swelled inside of him. When Sam launched into a depiction of the witch's face when the blessed knife pierced her heart, Dean had had enough.

"Dammit, Sam! I was there, remember? I saw her face! I already told you I was proud, what more do you want from me!" Dean snapped before his eyes widened in surprise at what had come out of his mouth.

"I…I'm sorry, Dean. I was just…I…I'm sorry," Sam whispered as he turned away so his brother wouldn't see the tears that had begun to well in his eyes.

"Sammy, I…"

"It's okay…I understand." Sam quickly wiped at the tears and leaned his head against the cool passenger window. He squeezed his eyes shut when Dean reached across the bench seat and nudged his shoulder.

"Sam…I'm really sorry. I don't know why I said that. I guess I'm just tired," Dean explained, though he really couldn't fathom why he had blown up at his brother. The kid was understandably excited and Dean had shot him down with his tirade.

Sam turned to face Dean and smiled shyly. "It's okay, Dean. I know you're tired. I shouldn't have been yakking your ear off…"

"No, Sam…you should have. Man, my first kill? Dad couldn't have shut me up even if he'd tried. You have a right to be excited. I had no right to talk to you like that," Dean interrupted. "So, are you okay? Are we good?" he added as he glanced over at his brother.

"Yeah…of course. Don't worry about it," Sam answered softly.

Dean nodded his head then moved his eyes back to the road ahead. "Good…thanks," he said.

The rest of the trip back to the motel was spent in silence and even though Sam had said he was okay, Dean could tell by his silence that he was still hurt. He couldn't blame the kid. Dean knew his acceptance and approval were the most important thing to Sam…more important than having friends and being normal. The older brother felt awful, but if he brought it up again, Sam would deny that he was upset and would clam up even more, possibly not speaking for days. Dean decided the best thing to do was to not say anymore about the incident and let Sam's hurt feelings heal on their own. He'd for sure make things up to his little brother in a way that Sam wouldn't know he was making things up to him. They pulled into the motel parking lot and took the parking spot next to John's truck. Sam glanced over at Dean before pushing open his door and exiting the car. Dean sighed as he heaved his own door open. The three hunters entered their small room, Sam immediately collapsing back onto his and Dean's bed with a groan.

"How you doing there, kiddo?" John asked as he glanced down at his youngest son, a hint of concern in his voice. "You didn't get hurt did you?"

That got Dean's attention and he whipped his head around from where he was emptying his weapons bag and stared at his brother. Sam didn't seem to be hurt when they left the witch's house, but the kid was notorious for keeping injuries a secret.

"No, Dad…I'm okay," Sam answered as he sat up, Dean now suspiciously eyeing his every move. "I'm just a little sore and a lot tired."

"You're sure, Sammy? You got tossed around a bit, just like Dean and I. I want to know if you were injured," John said sternly.

Sam glanced up at his father and smiled sheepishly. "I learned my lesson, Dad. No more hiding injuries. I'm fine…really," he said in reply.

John watched his youngest for a few moments then decided that he saw no dishonesty in the teen's eyes. Sam was most likely sore and tired, just like he'd explained. Probably just like he himself felt, and most likely Dean also. "Okay, squirt…why don't you hit the shower then get some rest," he said as he affectionately ruffled Sam's hair.

"Okay, Dad," Sam said as he stood and headed for the bathroom, stopping long enough to pick up his sleep clothes from the floor beside the bed.

Dean watched Sam enter the bathroom and close the door, his hands fisting at his sides as intense anger suddenly enveloped him. 'Why does that whiny little bitch get to shower before me!' he thought before sharp pain in his palms snapped him out of h thoughts. He looked down and opened up his hands to find he had pierced his skin with his fingernails. "What the hell is wrong with me?" he whispered under his breath, not understanding the anger at Sam that kept coming and going.

"Did you say something, Dean?" John asked as he glanced over at his eldest son.

"Uh, no…just talking to myself," Dean answered.

"Huh. Well, as soon as Sammy gets out of the shower, you can get in. We need to rest up tonight so we can hit the road early. I'd like to put this hunt behind us as quickly as possible," John said.

"Yes, sir. Where we headed to next?" Dean asked.

"No place in particular. I was thinking we could use a little down time for awhile. Was thinking of heading to Bobby's. Sam would love to bury himself in Bobby's books and I figured it would be a good reward for his first kill," John answered. "Plus, you'd get to help the old duffer with his cars," John added with a tired smile.

"Oh…yeah…that sounds good," Dean said. He turned away from John and narrowed his eyes. He'd never gotten a reward for his first kill so what made Sam so special? The kid was whiny and bratty most of time and certainly didn't deserve to be rewarded for killing a witch that any pre-schooler could have killed. Dean peeled off his clothes and picked his sleep pants and tee shirt up from the bed. He quickly dressed and climbed under the covers of the bed.

"You're not going to shower?" John asked curiously.

Dean curled his lip then turned toward his father. "Naw…I'll do it in the morning. I'm really tired," he answered, his voice hiding the anger building inside him.

"Okay, but we need to hit the road early so we can get to Bobby's," John said.

"I'll be up early, Dad…don't worry," Dean said shortly before turning back onto his side.

"Everything okay with you, son?" John asked as he moved to the side of Dean's bed.

"Yeah…I'm fine. Why do you ask?" Dean answered without looking back up.

"You seem a little off. Anything you want to talk about?"

"I'm just tired, Dad. It's been a long night."

John shook his head before sitting down on his own bed. "Okay then, get some sleep," he said as he leaned over to remove his boots.

Dean pulled the blanket up over his shoulder and closed his eyes, the young man seething as he thought about all the ways John put Sam ahead of him. His thoughts continued down a dark path the longer he dwelled on them, the young man unable to stop them as the flood gates opened. It seemed all his father could think about was watching out for the brat. Keep Sam safe above all else. What about him? Why was it always Sam that had to be kept safe? Wasn't he as important? Didn't his safety matter to his father? He couldn't understand why John cared so much for the little freak. It was Sam's fault after all that they had to live this life. Dean's mother had died in Sam's nursery, had most likely died because of the ungrateful little bastard and all the kid worried about was having a normal life. Little dickhead only cared about himself and what he wanted. Well, what about what Dean wanted? What about his dreams and aspirations?

"We'd be so much better off without that little f***er," Dean whispered venomously under his breath.

"What was that, Dean?" John asked and Dean had to take a deep breath to keep from blowing his top completely.

"Nothing, Dad," Dean answered as he pulled the covers up higher over his shoulder.

"Yeah…sure. Look, I'm gonna pop out for a bit. I want to pick up a few things for the road trip tomorrow plus I just can't shake that we missed something at that house. I'm going to drive back there and just make sure we covered all the bases," John said.

"Yeah…fine. I'll be here," Dean replied shortly.

"Uh…okay. Watch out for your brother. I'm still not convinced he's completely okay," John instructed as he pulled his boots back on and stood up from his bed.

"Yeah…I'll watch out for Sam…just like I always do," Dean said, the young barely able to keep the venom out of his voice.

"Dean, what the hell is going on with you? Are you mad at Sam for some reason?" John asked, the man suddenly wary of leaving his sons, even for the short time he planned on being gone.

Dean reeled in his anger and rolled over to face his father. "I'm fine, Dad. I'm just really frickin' tired. What would I be mad at Sam for? He was the hero tonight," he answered.

"He did good. He's really coming around, but Dean…you did damn good tonight too. I'm proud of both you boys…not just Sam," John said.

Dean sighed, the anger lessening just a little as he looked up at his father's sincere eyes. "Yeah…I know, Dad. I'm sorry…I'm just really tired for some reason. A good night sleep and I'll be rip roaring to go tomorrow," he said in reply.

John considered Dean's words and finally nodded. "Okay…if you're sure. I won't be gone long…two hours at the most," he said.

"Sounds good, Dad…and you know I'll watch out for Sammy."

"Yeah, I know you will."

John gave Dean one last look then turned and walked to the door. Once the door shut behind him, Dean shook his head and rolled back over onto his side, his back to the rest of the room. He closed his eyes, willing himself to sleep before Sam came out of the bathroom. He had no desire to talk to the teen. In fact, he was almost afraid that if Sam said one word to him, he might just come unglued and clock the kid. He was suddenly very thankful that Sam enjoyed long, drawn out showers. It would give him a chance to fall asleep and avoid any contact with the kid. He forced all thoughts of Sam out of his mind and let the exhaustion he felt pull him under, his breathing evening out within a few minutes. He was sound asleep for several minutes before the bathroom door opened and Sam stepped out, his hazel eyes sweeping over the room before settling on his brother's form in the bed.

Sam almost called out to his brother to ask where their father had gone, but the sound of Deans soft snores made him stop. Dean was tired and needed his sleep. John had probably left to find a bar to swallow down a nightcap or two. Sam shrugged as he made his way between the two beds and climbed in next to his brother then reached up and turned off the light. He was careful not to pull the blankets off of Dean as he curled into their warmth and closed his eyes. He felt like he could sleep for a week, but knew they would probably be rising early just like John liked it. He was just about asleep when Dean began to mumble and groan in his sleep, his body twitching slightly at whatever dream played through his slumbering mind. Sam smiled softly to himself until the light mumbles and groans intensified and the twitching gave way to light thrashing.

Sam pushed his covers off and rolled over then pushed up onto his knees. He reached for Dean's arm and shook it gently. "Dean…wake up. Come on…wake up!" Sam called as the thrashing increased. "Dean! Wake up!"

Dean's thrashing stopped and slowly his green eyes opened and stared up at Sam. "Sam?" he whispered hoarsely.

Sam sat back on his heels and smiled. "You were having a nightmare…a pretty bad one by the way you were thrashing around," he said, his face illuminated by the moonlight that filtered into the room from the window on the back wall.

"Yeah…it was bad," Dean hissed as he slowly sat up, eyes narrowing on his little brother.

"Dean? Wh-what's wrong?" Sam asked as he clearly heard the malice in his brother's voice. He never even had a chance…never saw Dean's fist before it plowed into his face with bone crushing force.

Well, that's the first chapter. What do you think? So, I know I said every three days or so, but I will be camping next week and am not sure if I'll have a signal for internet. I'll post this weekend for sure. Thanks all :)